Is SongTradr a Good Distributor?

Let Me Introduce Myself!

My name’s Isaac, I’m a 22 year old Singer-Songwriter and Musician and on July 1st I self released music for the very first time. 

My previous releases before that had been through a label, so everything to do with distribution and getting the music onto streaming platforms was done for me… hey, that was bloody great! But I found myself not in that position for this latest release, and I thought it would be great to take you through my experience and share what I learnt so that you can avoid making the same mistakes. 

As a disclaimer I used the distributor ‘Songtradr’ so I will be going into detail about them as a distributor, and the steps I took with them – a lot differs between distributors with what they offer.

How much does it cost?

First things first I signed up to Songtradr – it’s $39.99 for the year. Now here’s where the first difference comes, some distributors waiver a sign up fee and opt for taking a % of your earnings. I’ve learnt since, that % is a more beneficial set up for you as the artist, as they’re going to work the track more as its in their financial interest. However Songtradr do have some promising looking sync (music for TV, Games & Movies) opportunities included in that fee, which was the first we’d heard of this with a distributor.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need a song…Duh! 

Make sure you have the mastered file of the song and all the relevant informational to hand when submitting the song – use the process of registering a song with a distributor as your checklist for what you will need. I never knew what an ISRC code was (don’t worry about that just yet) until I started this process, but it was an easy way to learn exactly what information I needed to register.

Uploading Your Music To SongTradr

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You’ll then need to add all the meta data for the song. What the genre? Who wrote the song? Who’s got control of the master? All that good stuff! 

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Also without getting too technical, Songtradr provide you with an ‘ISRC Code’ (it’s back again… but this is why I said don’t worry, because SongTradr do this for you… it would be worth a google though so you know!). This code essentially allows your song to be tracked across the world whenever it gets played, and a big computer stores all the data so you know how many plays you are getting, and then you get paid! 

As another side note remember this IS NOT registering the track for songwriting royalties (money for your music when it gets played). In the UK you’ll need to do that with PRS which is a company that collect what you are owed and pays you. Your distributor should however collect your streaming royalties. All of these figures and complicated things are available to see on the Songtradr dashboard/home page when you have an account.

After all the information has been entered and artwork uploaded, it’s time to choose a date for your release. This is so much more important than you might realise!

BONUS INFO

As a rule of thumb leave 4 weeks between completing the submission of the track to your distributor to the date you want the track to be out. This is because it will leave enough time to pitch your track to Spotify playlist. How on earth do I do that you ask? Good. bloody. question. You’ll need access to your Spotify for artist page- the guys over a Burstimo explain it perfectly right here- https://burstimo.com/spotify-playlists-guide/ – top little bonus tip there for you!

That’s kinda it, in short. Now everything is in your distributors hands. 

Key things you need to be prepared for:

  • 4 weeks prior to your preferred release date
  • A high quality mastered file of your track 
  • All the relevant meta data on your track 
  • The artwork for the song 

Would I use Songtradr again?

It was an interesting experience for myself, would I use Songtradr again? Hmmmm maybe. 

It was easy to use, but it was a cheap means to an end. I have no personal contact there, there’s no number to call, I don’t have any personal connection or feeling that they are willing/wanting to help me with my single, and I think that’s ultimately what you need in a distributor. You want to find somebody that has shown some passion towards your music and wants to represent it. This is why giving a % is a better option because if they don’t get sales for your track, then nobody makes any money or hits!

I will say, there was something I wanted to clarify regarding my artist name on Spotify, to make sure the track was going to the right Isaac Tyler, and I did receive a reply to my email a couple of days later, so their turnaround time was relatively quick, but I wanted to feel more like there was somebody at hand to help me out when I was nervous and stressed for the release.

What would I rate Songtradr?

I’d give Songtradr a solid 7/10 – for what the service is, it does what it needs, and my track was out on time… which is the primary thing right?! But you’re aware they’re a big company, there’s little in the way of artist/distribution relationship, and that can account for a huge amount between artist and distributor – I’d give them a go for the sync opportunities as well, but more on that in another blog. 

I have a few more distributors I want to try for my next releases, so expect some more ‘reviews’ of my future experiences.

I don’t regret using Songtradr, but I’m not rushing back.

Where can you hear my release?

Shameless plug – that release in question is OUT NOW! 

Peace, 

Isaac x

9 Comments

  • Spent a lot of money promoting my music on SongTradr and promoting my music but it did nothing for sales. I did get on a few lists but that didn’t help either. Feel like I wasted my money and would not use this site again. I think my songs are well written, the music is 80’s – 90’s rock and is well mastered. Not sure where I went wrong but songtradr isn’t the answer for me.

    Here’s my songs on Soundcloud

    https://soundcloud.com/david-weltman-982567192/sets/falling-ash

    • Did you receive nothing in return? I find it interesting actually, that you have had nothing at all! It makes me wonder who has had success and are they doing anything differenty??

      • I’ve had multiple payments for my streams from Songtradr, always surprised when I return that there’s more money in the pot. I’m wondering if there’s something else that was missing when registering that didn’t have you down as being entitled to the income?

  • Alex Turmoil says:

    I have heard really negative things about Songtradr and the way they treat artists. I know people who have found their music in places they didn’t want it as a result of the fact that Songtradr can change their license agreement without notifying you. Also, they do these deals where they will give you music to “compilation” albums that will re-release your track on Spotify and YouTube, etc.; these types of deals essentially cannibalize your own streaming royalties by creating multiple instances of your track(s) on Spotify etc.

    Their customer service is also notoriously shoddy, and I’ve heard of people having really bad reactions from the staff when troubleshooting the platform / contacting support. I’d say there are much better ways to distribute your music (DistroKid, etc) – and giving up all your rights and letting them license your music wherever they want without you having any say isn’t really holding your music or career to a very high level. Might be good if you are trying to make stock music for pennies though.

    Good review though! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Alex, thanks SO much for this, this is very very helpful for us to know, and we will pass this on to our community for SURE! I want to be creating a space where musicians feel they can share their experiences and also we can give honest and real first hand advice on what is great and what isn’t in this industry, but directly music based and musician lifestyle based. Thanks for taking the time to comment, really appreciate it!

  • I subscribed to Songtradr for over a year and I wrote and produced some great songs that even had BBC AirPlay under “ The Light Disciples “ .
    I had lots of songs allegedly put in sync deals with YouTube but as time went by I received nothing in terms of money and you couldn’t contact anyone! I believe this company is not fully legitimate but they look good as a package to entice you in through advertising.
    I definitely wouldn’t recommend them .
    My advice is sell your music via your own website. At least you get to keep any profit and knowone can stream your music for free.

    • How many streams were you getting? YouTube isn’t normally considered a sync deal and sync would usually have an up front fee so I think this will most likely just be streaming. Most platforms will only pay out if you have made over a certain amount too, say $30. So it depends what your streams are looking like. You should still see something though from streams on Spotify if you have 1000+. Also it’s worth noting that Songtradr will only collect streams and sync if you have any deals and signed any contracts, if it’s radio/airplay you feel you’re missing that will be through whichever PRO you are registered to (PRS and PPL in the UK if it’s BBC), Hope this helps?

  • Nick says:

    My band I was in, Girl Colors, won a promotion to get played on 300+ radio stations.

    Over the course of 2016-2020 I have made $00.00 in royalties from Girl Colors music, of which I wrote the entirety. When you click the link for Girl Colors, it goes to my old drummers songtradr…

    Again, we had plenty of streams. Including over 200,000 streams on one Facebook video. 1,000 streams on YouTube, and thousands on other streaming platforms. I’ve registered my works with ASCAP, I have copyrights on all my music, and yet I made $00.00. Right now, their customer service team is telling me that it is justified that I have $00.00 in royalties for 4 years of streaming.

    • When they say it’s justified, what was their reason for it being justified? And who registered the songs? Whoever is down as a writer/owner of the master is who is entitled to the streams and royalties. The streams alone is what will be collected from Songtradr, they won’t collect radio royalties, that will be down to your PRO – which I assume is BMI with you having $? Assuming you are down as a writer, you’ll have a cut if the song has been registered correctly with the appropriate splits. Hope this helps?

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